What is Kopi Luwak coffee?
Kopi Luwak is one of the rarest and most exclusive coffees in the world. This is due to its unique taste and 100% natural processing method. The raw coffee berries are eaten by the civet cat, a species native to Indonesia, and then broken down by its intestinal enzymes. However, the stone of the coffee berry (coffee bean) cannot be digested so comes out whole when the cat does its business. Et voila, premium Kopi Luwak, A.K.A. cat poo coffee.
The cats are very picky when eating the berries and meticulously inspect each one, only eating those which are perfectly ripe. This innate ability to identify the best beans is what gives Kopi Luwak coffee its international acclaim.
What does Kopi Luwak taste like?
Kopi Luwak’s unique processing method gives it some wonderful taste characteristics. The enzymes that digest the outer berry extract a lot of the bitterness for a deliciously smooth cup of coffee. The scent glands of the animal add a gentle acidic tone, giving a pleasant, earthy aroma.
A shot of this stuff in a fancy London coffee shop will set you back around £40 a cup but as with any coffee, it’s best enjoyed fresh but due to the expense, it is sometimes left for weeks after the roasting date causing it to lose its flavour and aroma. Café Amore Kopi Luwak is roast to order and sent directly from the roastery, which means you can enjoy the fresh taste at its best.
Where does Kopi Luwak coffee come from?
Kopi Luwak refers to the specific type of coffee that is eaten and excreted by the civet. This species of cat is native to Indonesia, but recent demand for the coffee has led to an increase in animal importation into countries like China and India, where the coffee is often mass produced. The Kopi Luwak coffee craze has led to experimentation with other animals and you can now try coffee that has been pooped out by monkeys, elephants and even birds! But still, nothing compares to the coffee that is processed by the civet.
Is Kopi Luwak produced humanely?
Originally, Indonesian pickers would search through the forest and collect the cat poo coffee beans by hand. These were then washed and processed in the usual way. The recent demand for this type of coffee has unfortunately led to more ‘efficient’ methods of production in countries such as China, where the animals are caged like hens and their poo is collected from a trough. Until stricter regulations are put in place to prevent animal cruelty, you’re best off getting Kopi Luwak that has been harvested in Indonesia, such as that from Café Amore. A petition to include animal welfare clauses in the UTZ certification criteria has been put forward by Tony Wild, an active member in the ‘Cut the Crap’ Facebook campaign, so head over to www.change.org/UTZcoffee and sign up if you would like to help secure a more ethical future for this unique type of coffee.
Ethically sourced Kopi Luwak makes a great gift for friends and family who see themselves as coffee connoisseurs, and is a must-try for anyone who enjoys a really good cup of coffee. Head over to www.coffeebuyer.co.uk, where you can choose between ground or whole coffee beans and order online for delivery.
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